Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Birding Between Adulting

     I admit that to this point in my life, this has been the most stressful. Marriage was easy, a near-death bike accident- I just shook that one off, but the combo of a my new role at work with some big moves happening in Tim's and my life (no, not having babies!!!!!!) we have a lot on our plates and weekends have become a time for little R&R-- but in the end, it will all be worth it!
     Something hard for me is limiting my birding to focus on things that are actually important. Birding is my mental break and the only period of time my brain stops thinking about everything except birds. So I took a mental break yesterday and glad I did, and flanked my outing with my chores, phone calls, and grocery shopping. It's a bird-life balance....
The first bird that caught my eye was this female Baltimore Oriole. Especially because she came down to the ground. Normally these birds are up high.
She came down to collect nesting material, picking, peeling, to get the very best flexible strands to weave into her hanging nest. And then, with nesting material in her beak, her male counter part also flew down, and then in a twittering of song and twisting of tails, they mated. It was very quick and very not-exciting, but orange feathers flared and I suppose passion too-- anyway, it was very interesting to observe and I am so happy they will soon be raising their family from those dangling, perfectly woven nests.

Also down low, a female orchard oriole. I saw no nesting material with her, she kept going down to the ground at the lakes edge, where they covered up the invasive phragmites with tarps.

I walked up Lookout Hill as I noted reports of it being quite birdy. After seeing ovenbirds, common yellowthroats, and gray catbirds the whole way up- at the top I saw a Wilson's Warbler, American Redstart, and more common yellowthroats and ovenbirds...
The Oak on lookout when I then checked out was full of birds like this blue-winged warbler who does its best to blend in while foraging.

A Canada Warbler (one of my faves) flew out from the Oak and to a lower, more sparse tree-- doing its best impression of an Audubon Painting.

In addition to this Canada Warbler and the Blue-winged Warbler, the oak tree had Black-and-white warbler, Black-throated-green warbler, Yellow-rumped warbler, and at its base--- more common yellowthroat.

Did I mention.... ovenbirds?
These little guys creep along the ground, but despite their size, you can hear them as they loudly blast out their "TEACHER-TEACHER-TEACHER" song.

Also very present in the park were Magnolia Warbler, another very handsome bird.

In walking the Lullwater, I came upon a handsome pair...

The female wood ducks totally lead the show. Two males were following her as she ate and did her thing. 
While watching the wood ducks, this common yellowthroat hops out onto a rock within inches of my feet. He, then stole my attention...

And then I realized a green heron was hanging out on the tangle of branches the common yellowthroat then located to. We just looked at each other and I went on my way as I realized how close we both were to each other and I wanted this bird to be able to relax and keep doing its thing.

As I backtracked on the opposite side of the Lullwater, near the rustic arbor/seating area I found a second Wilson's Warbler who was easy to photograph, except for when he got too close!

He worked the low growth, looking for yummy insects and larvae.

Best warbler photo of the day. Thanks for posing, dude!

After watching the Wilson's, the two very sparse trees in the clearing of that rustic seating area each had about 4-5 different species of warbler in them. It included Prairie (this bird), yellow, magnolia (both Male and Female), yellow-rumps, parula, and black-and-white warbler.
Tonight, if weather cooperates is my first night out of horseshoe crab monitoring at one of our local beaches. Looking forward to seeing some ancient arthropods on the beach!

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